«A phase towards normalization is beginning, but the virus will not disappear.»

PANDEMIC

Federal Councillor Alain Berset, was in Fribourg.

«A phase towards normalization is beginning, but the virus will not disappear.»
©KEYSTONE/Anthony Anex

«A phase towards normalization is beginning, but the virus will not disappear.»

©KEYSTONE/Anthony Anex

Alain Berset is hopeful about the health situation in Switzerland.The Federal Councillor, visiting the canton of Fribourg today, spoke of the beginning of a normalization phase with vaccination and the prospect of a COVID certificate. The «minister» of health was in his home canton to review.

His previous visit to Fribourg was almost a year ago, in May 2020, «in an entirely different context» he told the press . At the time, the Federal Council was in the process of putting the finishing touches on vaccine procurement policy. « Vaccinations are a very important as well as positive development,« noted Berset after visiting the University of Fribourg to inquire about the testing campaign ahead of students’ return to the classroom.

Some optimism

He also visited the Forum Fribourg cantonal vaccination center in Granges-Paccot, one of the largest in French-speaking Switzerland. All segments of the population have been affected negatively by the pandemic, particularly young people, however, he said. Now «we can afford to be a little optimistic» and «move forward in a stable way and as hopeful as possible» in order to contain the cases of infection. Afterwards, thanks to the COVID certificate, it will be possible to prove that one is not contagious, he added.

Difficult predictions

In the course of the past few months and his visits to the cantons, Berset has observed changes in the development of the pandemic across the country. Forecasting for the future, however, is «terribly complicated.» The healthcare «minister» is assuming that «vaccines will continue to develop, with booster campaigns and a normalcy.» The problem will be variants. «The disappearance of the virus is not an option,« he continued. «Currently, we are not currently in a situation where we can open up too quickly.» The backdrop is expected to change this summer with the easing the Federal Council is working on, particularly for events. «Life is resuming in our canton,« said the president of the Fribourg State Council, Jean-François Steiert, emphasizing, though, that the virus is still present and that there will be «other difficult months.» The health crisis has called into question «a well-oiled but slow democratic system,« he added. Apart from Jean-François Steiert, the State Council delegation included Anne-Claude Demierre, head of health, and Maurice Ropraz, head of security.

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